Evolving Peace

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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Power of the Purse-Congress

President Bush is about to announce his new policy on Iraq and reports are saying that he is calling for escalating the amount of troops. In a war “that we are not winning and not losing” a drastic recourse needs to be established. The American people have called for new leadership and a new direction in regards to Iraq but the President who claims to be “the decider” appears to be heading in a different direction. Words from Democratic Leaders, Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House and Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid are starting to reflect the deep divide in policy.

A reminder to the populace, the President serves as a mere executive over the courtship of policy and legislation made by Congress. As addressed by the Constitution,

All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

To that regards it is Congress’s duty to enact legislation to call for the end of the War in Iraq. The power of the purse is in the hands of Congress and this new congress ran on a campaign of resolving an end to the war. So while it is their utmost duty to deny any further funding to escalate the war, it is also their duty to remove funding from the war in general.

There are some who use the logic that “you broke it you bought” in regards to the occupation and say that it is the moral responsibility to stay until “the job is done.” This flawed interpretation only exasperates the problem by leaving US soldiers in a hostile land like sitting ducks. Soldiers are mere occupiers and the majority of Iraqi’s want to see the US leave. Given the mood of Iraqi’s, the United States is in no better shape than it was in Vietnam. War Hawks called to escalate troops there but the end result left nothing more than deaths and destruction. “We have to destroy the village in order to save it” did not work in Vietnam and will not work in Iraq.

The President is labeled as the “Commander in Chief,” implies to some that the President can do as he sees fit with the armed forces. Yes, he was given authorization to use military force by the Congress but that was under the stipulation that Saddam Hussein was not cooperating with UN inspectors. Afterwards, it is now prevalent that President Bush over stepped his grounds and failed to approach a diplomatic solution. Most of the International community knew that there no “Weapons of Mass Destruction,” but Presidential policy claimed there was. Due to the release of the Downing Street Memo it has become clear that White House policy had been to distort evidence and orchestrate a campaign to obtain support. Iraq’s ever changing mission began as a mission to eradicate weapons of mass destruction, next morphed into Iraqi freedom and now into Iraqi order. Every White House motive has been refuted, so it is quite evident that war’s purpose is to gain control of oil.

While the President is about to trump his “new” policy in Iraq, I suggest a look at the constitution to decide who has the power to dictate policy. Included in Congress powers are:

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

Congress’s original authorization for military force was not a declaration of war but was a conditional authorization in the advent of failed diplomacy. Proven by UN weapons inspectors, Saddam Hussein had been fully cooperating with inspectors and by the absence of any Weapons of Mass Destruction we all can all determine that the President had no interest in diplomacy. Therefore with no grounds for war the President’s actions were illegal, war had not been declared and Congressional stipulations were not followed.

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

The calamity in Iraq continues to grow and the President is proposing to increase troop size. Congress must first say no, and then gradually remove the funding in order for him to orchestrate such maneuvers. The past Congress’s had been duped into given support for the war, but there is nothing that states that it must continue at his discretion. Congress had been given the power to change course and that course begins by removing the funds for Mr. Bush’s war.

As evident the war had been started by deceit and the President has no intentions of answering to the people or to Congress. The powers that the President has acclaimed to are not powers given to him. Congress must provide its duty and pledge of oversight else wise Congress becomes irrelevant. The President has overstepped his boundaries whether it is his military acts of aggression, treatment of prisoners or the illegal spying on American citizens. The House of Representatives main Constitutional duty is to provide a “check and balance” to the system and due to the circumstances that calls for impeachment of the President.

The House of Representatives shall choose their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.”

“The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

The President continues to circumvent the will of the people and his constitutional authority by pushing for escalation of his war in Iraq. The war was based on a lie and thousands are left to die. It is time that Democratic leaders stand up strong and call for a cessation of the war in Iraq. It is clear that the President has no intentions to ending it and in addition due to his past crimes it is grounds for removal. Join me and contacting your elected officials and say no to continuing the war and to impeach the president.

Robb Kidd

“Never, never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy, or that anyone who embarks on the strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter. The statesman who yields to war fever must realize that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events.” Sir Winston Churchill


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